Annals of sex research

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 227–253 | Cite as

Characteristics of sex offenders who were sexually victimized as children

  • R. Langevin
  • P. Wright
  • L. Handy


From a data bank of 479 sex offenders, a comparison was undertaken of those reporting any childhood sexual abuse versus those reporting none. A total of 201 men (42.0%) reported abuse, 261 (54.5%) did not and for 17 (3.5%), information was unavailable. The Abused and Nonabused Groups were compared on demographic information, the MMPI, Clarke Sex History Questionnaire and the Clarke Parent Child Relations Questionnaire. The Abused and Nonabused groups were similar in age, marital status, income, and criminal history, but the Abused Group had significantly less education. The Abused Group showed ‘sexualization’ of their childhood, not only in the number of contacts with adults but also with age peers and siblings of both sexes. They tended to have wider ranging and more frequent sexual experiences as adults both with men and women. They more often raped. The Abused Group tended to show more emotional instability than the Nonabused Group in more frequent suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, as well as in elevated Mania Scale Scores on the MMPI. The family background of the Abused Group was more disturbed than the Nonabused Group's; especially father-son relations. They reported more alcohol use and abuse in their parents and more parent-child aggression than nonabused offenders did. Although it is unlikely that child sexual abuse causes sexual anomalies, the results of the present study suggest that childhood sexual victimization in the lives of adult sex offenders merits further investigation and has implications for treatment.


Sexual Abuse Suicidal Ideation Child Sexual Abuse Sexual Victimization Criminal History 
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Copyright information

© Juniper Press 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Langevin
    • 1
  • P. Wright
    • 1
  • L. Handy
    • 1
  1. 1.Clarke Institute of PsychiatryTorontoCanada

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